Sunday, July 05, 2009

Indy leaves me breathless

We arrive in a theater type room, where a looping black and white film narrated by John Rhys-Davies, as Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Sallah, gives the history of the lost expedition we are going to look for.

The room is also the merge point between the standby and Fastpass lines. There’s a few people arriving with Fastpasses, but they couldn’t have waited any less in line that we have – since we didn’t wait!

When we’re cleared through the merge room, the queue snakes around some more, and then we’re faced with a staircase. We can see the ride vehicle load area to our left, so I know we’re almost there, but the stairs are daunting at this moment, because I’m already winded. I know I’m not in the best shape (or perhaps I’m in a perfect shape – round?), but this is more than that.

It suddenly feels like I’m only getting about half a lungful of air.

I chalk it up to my tiredness from the preceding week’s competition plus the walking we’ve just done, and push myself up the stairs. As I suspected, the stairs allow the queue to cross over to the island of the loading zone, so there are matching stairs descending on the other side.

It’s good that the line is so sparse of people. Another couple comes up behind us, and we let them pass before I tackle the stairs down.

At the bottom of the stairs, we’re loaded in immediately. I do love walking straight on to popular attractions, even if “straight on” feels like walking a mile and a half through an empty queue!

You know, I’m surprised, but there hasn’t been any discussion about whether Becky or her mom would like this ride. It’s too late now, but I’m guessing not.

The Indiana Jones ride is based on a unique ride vehicle, one where the wheels ride smoothly across flat surfaces but the passenger compartment is on hydraulics that simulate bumps, fast turns, jolts and more. It’s pretty amazing. Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida has a ride which uses the same technology, Dinosaur. I rode it and found in very bumpy and fun, but was a bit disappointed because so much of the action was in near total darkness.

Indy is fun, but at times I find myself wishing for darkness – some of the effects are amazingly realistic and scary. We face snakes, spiders, vengeful idols, a rickety rope bridge, and yes, even the giant ball of stone from the first movie. It’s an amazing adventure and a technological marvel.

I’m glad we rode it, but I’m also glad we’re done!

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